Thursday, March 17, 2016

130th Jubilee of the Congregation and the Year of Consecrated Life: Benedict House - Tutzing, Germany

 In 2016, we look back upon 130 years of our history, with more than 1300 women living as Missionary Benedictine Sisters. Over the months, we will bring to you the histories of our Priories and Sisters across the World.

Benedict House - Tutzing, Germany
For some time the Leadership of our Congregation had recognized the need of founding a home for old and sick German Missionaries that wished to return to their homeland or could not be cared for in their mission countries. In addition, political developments in some countries made the return of German missionaries advisable.
Therefore, during the 1976 general chapter it was decided to find a suitable place for such a home,
since the Tutzing Motherhouse did not have sufficient space.
The generosity of a Tutzing citizen, Mrs. Johanna Schwamm, provided the answer.  She bequeathed to the Congregation her considerable property with a picturesque pond at today’s Benediktenweg in Tutzing, exactly right for this purpose.
On March 19, 1979 the ground-breaking  was performed by Mrs. Schwamm, Prioress eneral M. Gertrud Link, Sr. Maria Froning, then prioress of the Motherhouse,  Sr. Christiana König and other sisters.
Already on August 15,  1980, the new building for the old and sick missionaries, “Haus St. Benedikt” was opened and blessed, all government regulations having been observed.   It is a beautiful building in a wonderful environment!
 The present superior of the community,  Sr. Chantal Gerster, had served as a missionary in Korea and also as general councilor in Rome.                                                                                                           
Haus St. Benedikt“  is part of the Generalate District. In the 35 years of its existence, 82 sisters from all our mission countries have lived in this Haus St. Benedikt  and were lovingly cared for until God called them home.
Today Haus St. Benedikt is fully occupied with 33 missionaries.  Former Abbot Theobald Schmid, OSB after 15 years of spiritual service in our house, had to return to St. Ottilien for reasons of age.  Fr. Philipp Maucher, OSB is now caring for the sisters as chaplain.
All the sisters still able to do some services are helping with tasks in house and garden.  For many years the periodical “Kontinente” was edited in Haus St. Benedikt, and also the first website of the Congregation in three languages was developed and edited here.  At this time one sister is giving pastoral care to old people in a home at nearby Garatshausen and another sister gives German lessons to refugees.
However the most important task for all the sisters is their personal prayer and the prayer in Choir, where as true missionaries they bring the concerns and needs of our world and our church before God, including especially the people that  had been entrusted to their care  for many years.

Ten Filipinas who have joined the community as oblates are caring lovingly for the old and sick sisters in house, kitchen and infirmary.  They remain in Germany for some years, then return to their homeland and their families.  Especially during celebrations, they give joy to the sisters by their presentations and native dances.

Even two former prioresses general spent the last years of their life in Haus St. Benedikt:  Mother Gertrud Link (+1990) and Mother Edeltrud Weist (+2012).
Since May 24, 2011, the offices of our Congregation’s Mission Procure have been located in “Haus Schwamm” on our grounds. As a place of contact with the sisters and the churches of the entire world, the Mission Procure has manifold tasks. It gives not only financial assistance, but serves also by more and more meetings and contacts with the whole world.


The sisters and employees aim to bring treasures and the needs of the young churches close to the people here in Germany. They remind them of their missionary co-responsibility as Christians and strengthen this awareness.

Finally one can call the Haus St. Benedikt as “Thanksgiving-House”, in which the harvest of many and fruitful missionary service is bundled and brought into God’s eternal dwellings.
Willligis Jäger, a spiritual author of our time, wrote:
“Old age offers to us the last chance for human maturity.  It is a decisive phase of life, an offer to grow still more and to embrace everything in life. Now it is important to complete our birth, because we are still in developing!”

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